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The Rich Fool

Bible Reading: Mark 8:34-38

Memory Verse: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul." (Mark 8:36, AV)

While my wife was buying some groceries, I sat and waited at the front of the store. A big man sat next to me. He talked in a loud voice: "I just bought five tickets to the State Lottery." He waved the tickets in front of my face. "I'm going to win the 6 million dollar jackpot and have a big party. I'll paint this town red!" he almost shouted.

I reminded him that he would have to give the tax man quite a large share of his winnings, even if he did win. He felt so sure he was going to win that I felt sorry for him.

Changing the subject, I told him that his soul was worth more than 6 million dollars.

He went on and on with words and curses. So I told him his chances of winning were about as good as his chance of going to heaven. He stopped for a moment. Then he got up and walked away clutching the tickets in his work-worn hands.

Jesus told the parable of the rich fool. (Mark 8:34-38). God had prospered the farmer in Jesus' story. He really had won the rewards of his labor. But God has sent the sunshine and the rain that made his crops grow. He was not mindful of this, nor did he give God the glory. He thought only of himself and what he was going to do with his bounty. This man boasted of his success to his neighbors and built bigger barns to store his grain. Jesus said the man had enough and more than he needed, but he did not give any of his plenty back to God or to his fellow man.

We, too, hold in our hands what belongs to God. He helped us in our endeavors and He has trusted us with the money and goods we possess. He wants us to be good stewards of what He has placed in our care. Jesus asked, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his own soul?" Sooner or later, that farmer's life would be taken from him and his goods left to others. And he would be shut out of God's presence forever; not because he had plenty, but because he left God out of his life. (2 Thess 1:9-10).

After telling this parable Jesus said, "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:21).

Are you storing up treasure here on earth and forgetting God? Or has your treasure evaporated in the current economic crisis? Perhaps you thought you could fall back on what you had stored in your 'barn' and now your barn is empty.

Jesus also said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matt 6:19-21).

Prayer: Dear Lord God. I have worked hard and saved for the last years of my life. But my treasure is in the bank and not in heaven. Help me to be rich toward You in worship and service. Bless my last days on this earth. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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